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For some reason, it seems to me that unlike other instruments, pianos aren't that common in Star Trek. I remember Voyager's Holographic Doctor playing a jazz piece (I think) on a piano in a holodeck, and Seven learning to play piano from him; I also remember that recently, in a Star Trek: DISCO episode, Adira played a melody on a piano. Are there any other times that a piano was played or even seen in an episode? Could there possibly be a reason why pianos aren't so common in Star Trek? Or is it that they appear more often than I thought?

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  • 10
    Full size or does that roll-out 'piano' count? I'd say out of universe they're just a pain in the arse to get on set without a damn good reason.
    – IG_42
    Nov 19 '21 at 0:26
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    "unlike other instruments". Are other instruments really shown that much more? Also, it's not like I see pianos in real life that often Nov 19 '21 at 9:58
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    In Star Trek Voyager there is an episode where the crew is stuck on the holodeck in a world war 2 scenario. The crew is part of the French resistance in a small town who own a bar of sorts. If memory serves Seven is here seen singing in front of a man playing the piano.
    – Finn
    Nov 19 '21 at 12:25
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    Do you include harpsichord? Trelayne had one of those...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Nov 19 '21 at 17:51
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    @IvoBeckers Perhaps they just appeared to be rare in Star Trek for me because I see them every day of my life. Nov 19 '21 at 22:42
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If Memory Alpha is to believed, the piano is seen or referenced 15 times. However, the actual count is higher:

  • Twice in TOS (including movies)
  • Three times in The Next Generation (including movies)
  • Six times in Deep Space 9
  • At least 3 times in Voyager
    • Unnamed holodeck location, Seven & Chakotay in Human Error (pic).
    • Le Coeur de Lion (holodeck), played by an unknown hologram accompanied by Seven singing in The Killing Game (pic)
    • Chez Sandríne, at least shown twice in the episode Someone to Watch Over Me (holodeck, program Paris 3), possibly in other episodes as well (pic). Later in the same episode, the Doctor plays the piano as well (pic).
  • Twice in Enterprise
  • Once in Discovery

Compare to four uses of trumpet, six of trombone, eight of guitar, 12 of Vulcan lute, and two of the banjo.

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    this answer is little more than a link to a wiki - better would be to include a few screenshots or at least reference the episodes indicated :)
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 19 '21 at 3:25
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    @NKCampbell I'm not sure if this sort of question needs much more than that though. Perhaps it could answer the why as well, but that's definitely outside the scope of what was asked
    – AncientSwordRage
    Nov 19 '21 at 8:29
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    I sort of suspect there were a few pianos in the background in holodeck scenes in TNG that aren't mentioned there. (They quite often seemed to end up in simulations of 20th century jazz bars, so it would make sense if there was a piano.) I don't know any specific examples, though.
    – N. Virgo
    Nov 19 '21 at 8:44
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    @Nathaniel Definitely a few missing - one I can think of is season 1 with the Binars where they lure Riker into the holodeck to tangle him up with Minuet. There he plays with a Jazz band that includes a piano (which he specifically asks for when asking the computer to generate a band).
    – J...
    Nov 19 '21 at 15:13
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    I could swear I've seen more than 1 piano in Voyager. Tom's bar definitely had one (Chez Sandrine), there's a piano in the WWII episode with the Hirogen and then there's Human Error, Seven playing with Chakotay. That's on top of the reference Memory Alpha makes of the Doctor.
    – Mast
    Nov 19 '21 at 17:11
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In the TOS episode "Miri", the landing party chases Miri into a house.

And I think it is a piano in the house which is the subject of the lines:

KIRK: How old is this thing?

SPOCK: About three hundred years.

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/12.htm

If that is correct, that is one more example of a piano in Star Trek.

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  • Rewatched the relevant part of ST:TOS "Miri" and can confirm what Kirk is looking at when he says that line is a decrepit old piano, although I can't find a clip online as evidence (and the steaming service I used certainly won't let me capture it myself).
    – BMF
    Nov 20 '21 at 19:17

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